Domain development, with ensuing internet sales, doesn’t take rocket science yet it does take basic business know-how to launch your dreams into cyberspace. Conceivably, you previously botched any domain buying efforts thanks to some miscalculation in initial investment, poor timing, or because you lacked finesse. To be frank, you’ve located this best practices piece because domain buying isn’t your strong suit.
If you’ve been endowed with an aggressive businessman’s mindset, then you would know that with our current state of affairs, it is actually exponentially easier (and totally worth it) to create a domain name which provides incremental income than ever before should your name have some memorability. Below are some key ways to set a course for your startup’s domain buying which many consider to be ingenious.
Select a niche domain name
There are some businesses out there that have products and services that are beneficial to an array of people, and then there are businesses that have a very niche product or service. The more specific your domain according to your niche, the easier customers will find you – an inevitable ROI lowering tactic.
Selecting and registering a niche domain name is pretty much a straight forward process. As a matter of fact, the hardest part of it is coming up with a domain name that is not already registered. There are several people that own a website and are not aware of the domain name registration process. They have left it to a third person or used free hosting plans. Here is how a domain name is registered:
Andrew Rosener, CEO of Media Options, says this about domaining best practices for startups:”Virtually every single generic domain name or short catchy domain name has already been registered in the .com extension. This in itself is the reason ICANN (the governing body of the Internet) has rolled out the new .whatever domain extensions, over 1,000 in fact. However, I still suggest .com as the best choice if possible.”
He continues. “In some cases, .co or .me or .tv can make a great fit as well depending on your brand, product or service and some of the new more specific extensions may work if in line with what you do. But assuming you want to stick with .com, it’s probably best to hire a domain broker to help you sort through all the noise and narrow down your options to a short list with realistic pricing. Using a domain broker also helps you stay anonymous and keeps the price in check.”
Reading through mounds of available domain properties posted feverishly in forums, bulletin boards and auctions, one grows tired of hearing the same rigmarole: this domain is worth thousands, my domain bagged ‘x’ dollars in parking revenue, and so forth. Everyone knows that domains only sell for what someone willfully pays for them. Much like guns, buying these names has only minimal use without the proper ammunition to create purpose behinds its ownership.
Check thoroughly for domain availability
Like Donruss or Topps trading cards, domains value fluctuates over time, reaping higher surface value when the name has notoriety pushing its value northward, like a Babe Ruth, Lou Alcindor or Bobby Hull would pull in trading card lore, per se. Of course, regardless of value, the domain must be available.
When you have a compiled list of great .whatever (but managed to avoid category killer) domains, you will have to check whether these names are available. Most people default to a domain name registrar where you can go through the list of interested domain names you compiled to see whether they are available. Normally, .com domains are what people shoot for since they’re the oldest. In case one of the domain names you have selected is available for registration, you will be provided with an option to register it. Easy peasy!
Avoid status quo valuations
Honestly, sociological, psychological and financial factors ‘experts’ create are how domains are priced. Without much effort, Jennifer Lopez could sell her hair dryer for $30,000 – having only spent $200 for it. Idiosyncrasies such as what domains could be developed into, who previously owned them and what some pencil-pushing dropout says it should be worth, often times, is what domains become worth.
If you’re feeling particularly peppy this morning, rip your vanity mirror off the wall and sell it on eBay, telling the world Hugh Hefner posed in it. Didn’t work so well, did it? Buy your domain because someone special, popular or influential owned it, and you’ll receive an expensive coat rack for the office instead. Domains are only as valuable as you wish them to be; although everyone would love business.com mounted above their fireplace, Biznik.com is working quite well for two Seattle entrepreneurs. In other words, domains can only hold intrinsic values which you push through them via marketing.
So many entrepreneurs needlessly ask what domain names are worth on particular markets; realistically, it depends on what the next buyer is willing to dole out. You could claim any name is worth millions; when reality settles in, you’ll realize that domains are actually worth what someone is willing to put into development, or what some entrepreneur thinks will provide the highest level of ‘clout’ after purchase. Beyond these two factors, any single domain name – regardless how cool, short or sweet it is – has only a monetary value equivocal to what another businessman highlights as its purpose.
Choose domain names which exemplify your business goals, specialties you intend on branding, or whatever you find would resonate in the minds of consumers. Younger crowds are drawn to quirky, while intellectual crowds are drawn to ingenuity; find a comfortable medium and register the .com, .net and .org versions of that name for monopolization purposes.